Saturday, July 23, 2016

June Blooms

Access Miller 
On 6/6/16 Gary's Miller Spotlight: Access Miller Beach Action Group (transportation and infrastructure) represented our community at the well attended SC2 meeting in Aetna. Long term plans for our train station and surrounding areas were discussed by Vita Nova. 

Launching the Lagoon Update:
Yay! They've installed the launch in Marquette Park. 

 Come and check it out! 
 Workers started installing the sidewalk on 6/19/16.
 The sidewalk was finished for the launch in Marquette Park on 6/24/16. 

Like canoeing/ kayaking? Dig universal design and inclusion? Gary's Miller Spotlight's Access Miller Action Group partnered with Barrier Free Beach 2020, Marquette Park Gary, NWI Paddling Association and Miller Beach Arts & Creative District to get funding for an accessible canoe/ kayak launch for our community. We were able to garner the funds for this project through grants and donations. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be on 6/25/16 at the Gary Clean Water Festival. Please spread the word!!! Here's an article about the project: 

Wednesdays at Wells
A great turnout at the first Wednesdays at Wells (sponsored by Wells Street Beach). The Pickford Family has been operating Wells Street since 1928. They've got an array of food, sweets and adult beverages, plus reasonable all-day parking rates. They are hosting family friendly programming each Wednesday of the beach season from 5:30-7:30pm. Thanks for helping address our community's need for teen and family friendly programming Wells Street!
Oral History Project Update:
It's official the first phase of our community's oral history project is complete. This spring Gary's Miller Spotlight's Area Context Action Group partnered with NPR's StoryCorps in Chicago to collect oral histories for the Library of Congress
We were the first Hoosier community to do an onsite recording partnership with StoryCorps. We are now branching out and partnering with more local groups to help create a digital library for our community. Thanks to our community partners, Marquette Park UMC - Gary and Temple Israel for providing recording space with the first phase of this project. 
An Intro to StoryCorps:
Volunteer Exchange with PSC
Thanks Grace Gathering for coming up from New Haven Indiana to do some service-learning projects with Gary's Miller Spotlight partners, Park Shore Commons.
Wirt Swag:
Gary's Miller Spotlight: Education / Youth and Child Programming Action Group sold authentic school swag at the All Wirt Class Reunion the 4th weekend in June. 
We've got track, cross country, baseball and football swag Proceeds from these sales will go to help fund classroom wish lists from our Wirt-Emerson teachers.
Any additional funds will go towards programming at our local high school. Contact for more info.

He found his jersey number! Yes you too can kick it old school.

Old home week with Coach King and his All-star Pitcher, Taylor Lacefield. 
More sales to take place at our Farmers Market Sundays from 10AM-3PM!!!

PIC Update:

PIC Chairwoman Jen White and our Community Builder Jessie Renslow were interviewed for Yale’s Environment 360 magazine along with Gary’s Director of Redevelopment, Joe Van Dyk. Access the full article here: 

Check out our awesome Property Improvements Committee Volunteers aka Property Improvements Committee is at it again! This time they spruced up our utility box that greets all of our trains. They got it done just in time for July's First Friday celebration (First Friday on Lake Street Jam Fest). The awesome owners of Beach Art Studios donated their expertise and NICTD was a great partner too, providing a flag man for all 3 days (a donation worth $2,400). Thanks for all your hard work PIC!!! PIC is ALWAYS looking for more volunteers. This is a fun group for anyone to join in and do a one-off project or continuing ones. You can join their Facebook group here: Miller Beach Spotlight Group - Property/ Blight.   

Miller K Update
What a beautiful bounty!!! The Miller K is starting to carry items requested from our survey.

Thanks to those who took our Miller K Market survey and the MCC for partnering on this effort with Gary's Miller Spotlight. 
Our local grocery store, Miller K Market, is family owned. They have started incorporating the constructive feedback on more upgrades they can pursue this year. 
We took general data from emails received from people living in the area and constructed an online survey that 200+ members of the community took. 

The data was compiled and given to our local grocer. Miller K is now starting to implement the feedback. 
This is an effort we are replicating across a broad spectrum of sectors within our business community. By giving constructive feedback with implementable action steps we are hoping to improve our economy as a whole and foster more sustainable local businesses. 

Lake Street Beach Update:
Our local food cart park is open! Come and see what's on the menu! Bringing in summer at Lake Street Beach in style. The Dune Buggy Shuttles (FREE) are up and running!!! Thank you parks services!!! They stop at the Miller Train Station, the Douglas Center, Lake Street Beach and Marquette Park. They're running weekends and holidays all summer long! They're also ADA accessible!
Buy 10 burritos get 1 free! Fly a kite, ride the dune buggy, take a hike, swim.... 

If you missed our free grant writing webinar put on by IACED, or you'd like a second look, you can view it here: 

We have 7 themes that are being addressed in our 29 community goals. Miller Spotlight volunteers presented our community plan at Wirt-Emerson on Saturday 11/14/15. Check out our full length plan on the Miller Spotlight Facebook page and look for our blog about the project's next phase coming soon. You can also email directly if you'd like a copy of the PDF. You don't have to live in Miller you just have to care about our revitalization efforts to participate. All are welcome to join!!!

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